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"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel


Jan 23, 2023

This New Year

Christmas feels like it happened a year ago--and it was last year, after all. But nearly a full month has passed since then. Quite a busy one! Our holiday festivities followed our usual traditions: Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving dinner at our house with English neighbours.  Followed by several Christmas Caroling Party planning parties.

The event itself took place on Christmas Eve Eve. Fifteen minutes before the guests were due, a massive rainstorm and heavy winds took out electricity all over our city. We have a whole-house generator, so we carried on, and were able to provide neighbours--adults and children--with warmth, light, music (we had two musicians this year), three types of soup and chili, and delicious desserts. Dot was delighted by all the attention.

Dot & me before the caroling party



Dot, waiting for Santa

Christmas Eve and Day were quiet and pleasant. Lots of telephoning to family in friends in around the US and in the UK.

Gardening catalogs!

The deluge of plant catalogs arrived when I was deep into revisions for a novel, so they did pile up before I had a chance to look them over. With nearly 190 rose bushes in the gardens, I hardly need any more. But I confess, I have ordered a few for springtime planting. 


My Somerset village

When not socialising and celebrating, I was in the final stages of the next novel--in a new genre. After 15 historical novels, I've ventured into contemporary fiction. This project was inspired by my experiences in filmmaking, in the years before and after I became a published author, and life in both England and New England. There could be a sequel . . . , But after a very short break for a reading binge, it's back to the 18th century and writing about a fascinating real-life celebrity couple.

The hectic activity immediately following the release of The Myrtle Wand subsided during the festive season. It was so nice, at parties and dinners, receiving compliments from local friends who had read the novel, and tracking the reviews. 

I'm participating in various historical and multi-genre writing conferences in coming weeks and month and mentoring a couple of writer friends who are entering the submission stage. Again I'll be co-producing the second annual Authors Event on the big stage downtown, an opportunity to offer an update on my own books and writing but also to introduce our audience to other local or regional published authors. So there will be more and different books at our booksigning, sponsored by our local independent bookstore. 


At last--enough snow to make Dot happy

Over a month ago, the calendar date told us it was winter, but we certainly couldn't tell from the weather--until this week. We are in the midst of a series of snowstorms, bringing many more inches than we've had in recent years. A certain snow-loving dog is absolutely delighted! And it suits me--snowy days are very conducive to writing.

 All best wishes for this New Year. Let's make the most of it!